MPH Health Behavior Health Promotion
“As an underrepresented, non-traditional student, and first in my family to attend graduate school, I am profoundly appreciative for the MEZCOPH experience. Learning from diverse and impassioned classmates; committed and distinguished faculty with interdisciplinary backgrounds, and contributing to extracurricular experiences has provided me with a profound understanding of the intersections of public health, particularly from a social justice perspective.”
New York, New York (so nice we named it twice!)Prior Degree(s):
B.S., Health Science | Community Health Education - California State University, SacramentoBefore entering the program:
Three weeks prior to beginning MEZCOPH, I finished working my fifth new student orientation at California State University, Sacramento. As an undergraduate, I was involved on campus as student manager in Sexuality & Reproductive Health for Student Health & Counseling Services, a peer mentor and instructional assistant for the Educational Opportunity Program, and serving in the Public Health Club.Why did you choose public health?
I came to public health after a long trajectory as a social justice activist in reproductive/sexual health, HIV/AIDS, and Latino sociopolitical issues. In addition, I worked at the nation’s first AIDS service organization (GMHC) in care coordination and volunteer management. After GMHC I returned to college, first attending San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC), while serving as an AmeriCorps Adult Literacy Specialist in a resource-challenged community in Stockton, CA. My AmeriCorps experience highlighted the social determinants of health in action, those determinants which prevent communities from leading their definition of fulfilled, healthy lives. After a career exploration course at SJDC, I realized I could combine my two passions for social justice and public health into a promising, future career path.Why did you choose MEZCOPH?
The diverse educational opportunities within the college, and learning from an interdisciplinary faculty experienced working in/with underserved communities through community-based, participatory research.Public health interests:
Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and STI prevention education and substance use (focusing on People of Color, the underserved and LGTBQIA communities) – all from a harm reduction approach.Internship:
TBDInterests/hobbies outside of school:
Dancing, particularly salsa, merengue, bachata and cumbia!Tip for future students:
Seek opportunities outside your comfort zone and get involved in the extracurricular activities at MEZCOPH (Social Justice Symposium, Internship Conference and more). Discover your passions and hone your professional networking skills by reaching beyond campus - experience service learning, interprofessional and volunteer opportunities, and community activism. Don’t miss the event of the year: Tucson Meet Yourself, held every October.